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Author: Ilona Bray

Ilona Bray is an attorney who gave up the active practice of law to edit and author books and articles for Nolo. Her working background includes both solo immigration practice and working or volunteering as an immigration attorney with nonprofit organizations in Seattle and California.
Holiday Season 2018 to Test How Much Donors Are Motivated by Tax Deductions

Holiday Season 2018 to Test How Much Donors Are Motivated by Tax Deductions

End-of-year giving traditionally gives struggling nonprofits a way to make up for any lost ground and get a budgetary boost into the new year. Starting with Giving Tuesday (November 27 this year), the public is treated to, or annoyed by, a chorus of messages from needy nonprofits. Despite any annoyance, many generous people respond, such that approximately 30% of individual giving happens in December. We are weeks away, however, from what could be a seismic shift. The timing of holiday…

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Too Many Would-Be U.S. Citizens Blocked by Slow-Grinding Bureaucracy

Too Many Would-Be U.S. Citizens Blocked by Slow-Grinding Bureaucracy

Approximately three quarters of a million people who were eligible for U.S. citizenship long, long before this election—who had, per the eligibility requirements, held a U.S. green card for at least five years (in most cases), lived in the U.S. continuously with that green card, and studied up on their English and civics—are still waiting to become citizens. The bureaucratic backlog for naturalization is at historic, some say shocking levels, according to a report from the National Partnership for New…

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Let’s Say Birthright Citizenship CAN Be Ended by Executive Order: What Would Be the Result?

Let’s Say Birthright Citizenship CAN Be Ended by Executive Order: What Would Be the Result?

Long before Trump became president, conservative commentators began pressing for an end to what’s widely called “birthright citizenship.” That means the right, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, of: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, [to be] citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” For well over a century, this amendment has been interpreted by courts and legal scholars to mean that anyone born…

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Back From Dilley Immigrant Detention Center: Interview With Nolo Immigration Attorney/Volunteer Kyle Knapp

Back From Dilley Immigrant Detention Center: Interview With Nolo Immigration Attorney/Volunteer Kyle Knapp

If you saw the recent Frontline show about child separations at the U.S. border,  you caught at least a glimpse of the so-called “South Texas Family Residential Center” in Dilley, Texas. Regular Nolo writer Kyle Knapp got a closer look at this facility recently. He spent a week volunteering there, along with other attorneys, all helping women and children (the center’s sole occupants) prepare to present their asylum cases to U.S. government officials. I (Ilona Bray, Nolo author) spoke with…

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Illegal Behavior to Arrive in the U.S. Is All But Baked Into Asylum Application Process

Illegal Behavior to Arrive in the U.S. Is All But Baked Into Asylum Application Process

Before having any sort of meaningful discussion of how to treat people who seek asylum at the southern U.S. border, we need to understand how someone can—and can’t—apply for asylum in the first place. In most cases, one has to violate immigration laws in order to get to the United States—and in the end, that’s legally okay. It’s almost expected. Which means that any bright-line analysis of who is “illegal” or not is almost nonsensical in this context. Let’s imagine…

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